The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has partially upheld the arbitration procedure in relation to the appeal filed by Kenya National Women’s Football team, protesting the decision of Football Kenya Federation withdrawing the team from the first qualifying round of the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in January.
The particular petition is between 22 Harambee Starlets players, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).
Acting in contravention of the law, former FKF Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno wrote to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) General Secretary, Veron Mosengoomba, and claimed that the federation was incapacitated after it was disbanded by the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed.
“Taking consideration of the existing government directive, taking over all football activities, the federation is unable to independently plan and successfully execute any international matches, which includes upcoming Kenya Vs Uganda AWCON 2022 Qualifier matches, scheduled to take place within February 14, 2022, to February 23, 2022,” Otieno wrote in part of the letter.
“However, the federation will keep CAF informed, should the aforementioned situation change and the FKF secretariat regains access to the FKF premises and is able to fully control footballing activities in the country.” He Continued.
Following such withdrawal, the CAF decided that the team of Uganda would be directly qualified for the next round of the competition.
The appeal was directed against the FKF decision only. However, no appeal has been filed against the CAF decision to register the withdrawal of the women’s national football team of Kenya and to qualify the women’s national football team of Uganda.
In a letter dated June 10 2022, CAS said;
“The CAS arbitrator in charge of this matter ruled that CAS had jurisdiction to rule on the appeal filed by the 22 players on 18 February 2022 against the FKF decision but did not have jurisdiction to rule on the request to order the CAF to reinstate the Kenya Women’s National Football Team to the AWCON and to rearrange the matches against Uganda in the second AWCON qualifying round before the start of the AWCON finals group stage on 2 July 2022,” it said in part.
“As to the merits, the sole arbitrator ruled that the decision rendered on 20 January 2022 by Mr Barry Otieno, former CEO of FKF, on behalf of the FKF, was to be set aside as it had been issued “ultra vires”, i.e. by a person who was no longer entitled to act on behalf of the FKF.” It added.
Meanwhile, since no appeal has been filed against the CAF decision to qualify Uganda to the next qualifying round, the CAS could not review it.